An Exclusive Interview with Tessa Arlen, Author of A Dress of Violet Taffeta

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Happy Friday, dear readers. Spring is finally here in my neck of the woods. It is time of renewal, flowers, and new books!

I am pleased to have a special guest with us today. Author Tessa Arlen has a new historical fiction novel arriving in July that immediately caught my eye, A Dress of Violet Taffeta. Arlen is a favorite author of mine. I have enjoyed her Lady Montfort mystery series, and recently adored her In Royal Service to the Queen. Continue reading “An Exclusive Interview with Tessa Arlen, Author of A Dress of Violet Taffeta”

10 Facts You May Not Know About Jane Austen and Her Novels

Jane Austen Bookstack, by Bea Harvie

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

English novelist Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, the seventh of eight children of Rev. George Austen and his wife Cassandra Austen, nee Leigh. Her six major novels concern the pursuit of security, and love, for women dependent upon marriage among the landed gentry in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century England. Continue reading “10 Facts You May Not Know About Jane Austen and Her Novels”

The Viscount Who Loved Me: Bridgerton (Book 2), by Julia Quinn — A Review

From the desk of Rachel McMillan:

Returning to The Viscount Who Loved Me I found myself in the pages of a romantic masterpiece. Here, the canvas of a London season showcases two hearts burdened by grief and anxiety only to find love amidst a cast of familiar characters beloved by readers the world over. Lord Anthony Bridgerton, eldest of the series’ eponymous family is, as ton gossip monger Lady Whistledown insists, a capital R rake. Continue reading “The Viscount Who Loved Me: Bridgerton (Book 2), by Julia Quinn — A Review”

Kingscastle: A Classic Regency Romance in the Tradition of Georgette Heyer, by Sophia Holloway — A Review

From the desk of Keira Soleore:

Dear Readers, when I first set sight on the cover of Kingscastle, I knew I had to read it. I was pleased to see that the story lives up to the promise of Lee Avison’s cover design. Much in the same style as the Traditional Regency novels of the 1980s, Kingscastle is a quiet, character-driven story set in the countryside, complete with an imposing castle, a local vicar, a small village, torrents of rain, and a harridan Continue reading “Kingscastle: A Classic Regency Romance in the Tradition of Georgette Heyer, by Sophia Holloway — A Review”

The True Confessions of a London Spy: The Secret Life of Mary Bennet (Book 2), by Katherine Cowley — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Few who have read Pride and Prejudice can forget Mary Bennet. The middle sister among five daughters, she is a minor character in Jane Austen’s classic with only a few scenes, and fewer lines of dialogue. Her unaccomplished pianoforte playing and singing at the Netherfield ball were an unwelcome embarrassment to her older sisters Jane and Elizabeth. She is plain and preachy and pedantic—a comedic Continue reading “The True Confessions of a London Spy: The Secret Life of Mary Bennet (Book 2), by Katherine Cowley — A Review”

The 12 Best New Historical Novels to Welcome Back Spring 2022

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

My tulips are sprouting! Spring is on its way here in the Pacific Northwest along with a great selection of new historical novels.

Here is a curated list of my favorites for March, April, and May. The range of stories and settings are diverse: Georgian, Regency, WWII, and post war England to Gilded Age Newport and 1930s Hollywood. Continue reading “The 12 Best New Historical Novels to Welcome Back Spring 2022”

A Preview & Cover Reveal of The Sisters of Sea View: On Devonshire Shores (Book 1), by Julie Klassen

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Hello Dear Readers,

I am so pleased to share a first look at a forthcoming historical romance novel from bestselling author Julie Klassen. The Sisters of Sea View is the first book in a new series and releases on December 6, 2022. I am thrilled to reveal the first details of the novel and its beautiful cover with you today.

Set on the Devonshire coast during the Regency-era, the first novel includes the story of three sisters Continue reading “A Preview & Cover Reveal of The Sisters of Sea View: On Devonshire Shores (Book 1), by Julie Klassen”

Miss Austen Regrets (2007) Movie — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

What do we know about Jane Austen’s love life? Very little. The information that survives is found in her personal letters and from family recollections. Apart from the one proposal by Harris Bigg-Wither, no other known romances or love affairs were documented. For someone who wrote so perceptively about love and romance, it stands to reason that she must have experienced a grand passion herself. This is an Continue reading “Miss Austen Regrets (2007) Movie — A Review”

The Magnolia Palace: A Novel, by Fiona Davis — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

I often wonder how authors find inspiration for their novels. It is such an incredible skill to create a story from thin air. In the case of bestselling author Fiona Davis, she has made a successful career from reimagining stories surrounding iconic New York City buildings. In The Magnolia Palace she explores secrets, betrayal, and murder within the impressive Gilded Age mansion of Henry Clay Frick. The story is Continue reading “The Magnolia Palace: A Novel, by Fiona Davis — A Review”

24 of the Best Jane Austen Quotes on Courtship, Love, and Marriage to Share with Your Valentine

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

In honor of lovers everywhere we are highlighting some of Jane Austen’s insights on courtship, love, and marriage in her novels, and in her life, on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day.

Here are 24 of the best quotes to include in a card, express directly to your friends, family, or inamorata, or just revel in today. Continue reading “24 of the Best Jane Austen Quotes on Courtship, Love, and Marriage to Share with Your Valentine”

A Preview of Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile (2022) Movie

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

A new, glitzy, star-studded movie adaptation of Agatha Christies 1937 novel Death on the Nile opens in theaters in the UK & US today. This high society mystery-thriller reunites the film-making team behind the 2017 adaptation of another Christie favorite, Murder on the Orient Express. Returning in the role of her iconic Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is Kenneth Branagh, who also directs from a screenplay by Michael Green. He is joined by an all-star cast of victims and suspects including Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, and Emma Mackey. Continue reading “A Preview of Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile (2022) Movie”

The Last Dance of the Debutante: A Novel, by Julia Kelly — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Once upon a time, every young lady who was anyone in British society was presented at court. It involved an official invitation from the Palace, the proper bespoke gown, and a steady, deep curtsey in front of their sovereign. The ceremony heralded in a new crop of debutantes and the official opening of the Season. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed that the ceremony would cease, and the final year of presentations would be 1958. In The Last Dance of the Debutante, bestselling author Julia Kelly follows the Continue reading “The Last Dance of the Debutante: A Novel, by Julia Kelly — A Review”

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